Poets & Writers

POETIC LENSES

OR our fifteenth annual look at debut poetry, we chose ten poets whose first books struck us with their formal imagination, distinctive language, and deep attention to the world. The books, all published in 2019, inhabit a range of poetic modes. There, and Maya Phillips’s modern epic, . There is Maya C. Popa’s lyric investigations in , Marwa Helal’s subversive documentary poems in , and Yanyi’s series of prose poems in . The ten collections clarify and play with all kinds of language—the language of the news, of love, of politics, of philosophy, of family, of place—and, as Popa says, they “slow and suspend the moment, allowing a more nuanced examination of what otherwise flows through us quickly.”

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